There are some parts of the world where for centuries, cannibalism was considered part of everyday life. Indeed, even today, there is evidence that remote tribes in Papua New Guinea and Fiji still partake, while disturbing reports are emerging from African war zones of cannibalism almost as a kind of war crime.
Cannibalism was also practiced in Hawaii for many years, as evidenced by the fate of explorer Captain James Cook, who after discovering the islands in 1778, was then killed by the natives. They removed the flesh from his body and ate it, according to some reports, before kindly returning the bones to his terrified crew mates.
However, if they were looking for a healthy and nutritious meal, then human flesh was not the best option for the Hawaiians. One Papua New Guinean tribe became affected by a terrible disease known as kuru, which was caused by eating the brains of their dead family members. Although the practice has now stopped, the disease can still be passed on genetically from parents to children.
The people on the list below, however, didn’t eat human flesh to survive or as part of a religious ritual. They were simply cold-blooded killers. Which story do you think is most shocking?
15. Mr Gay UK, Anthony Morley, killed and ate his boyfriend
Anthony Morley was a former model and Mr Gay UK who was convicted in 2008 of murdering his boyfriend, Damian Oldfield. After he had stabbed Mr Oldfield to death, Morley apparently decided to cut out some portions of his flesh, frying it in some olive oil and herbs – only to spit it out when he realized that human flesh wasn’t to his taste after all. Morley, who was eventually jailed for 30 years for the murder, was caught when he walked to a nearby shop, still wearing the blood-soaked robe and flip-flops he had been wearing at the time of the murder.
14. Albert Fish kidnapped and murdered little children
Serial killer Albert Fish, was known to have killed at least three children between 1929 and 1934, although it is thought that he could have committed as many as ten murders, as well as attacking and molesting many more children. He was eventually caught and executed for the murder of ten-year-old Grace Budd in New York, later confessing in a letter to the girl’s mother that it had taken him nine days to “eat her entire body”. To pay for his crime, Fish, who was also known as the Gray Man and the Werewolf of Wysteria, was executed by electric chair at Sing Sing prison in 1936.
13. Drug-crazed Matthew Williams butchered unsuspecting victim
34-year-old Matthew Williams had only been released from prison two weeks previously, when he murdered shop worker Cerys Yemm in a South Wales hotel room, and bit off parts of her face. The hotel owner discovered the grisly scene when she went to warn Matthews about making too much noise after the 11pm curfew – only to find him covered in Cerys’ blood, while she lay dead and mutilated on the bed. Williams himself died of a heart attack, after the local police were forced to use a taser to try and bring him under control.
12. Armin Meiwes: Germany’s Most Infamous Cannibal Killer
German, Armin Meiwes, became something of a celebrity in 2002, when he was arrested for murdering and cannibalising Bernd Brandes. What made this case peculiar was that Brandes had apparently wanted to be eaten, placing an advert on the internet offering himself up as a meal. It was this online ad that Meiwes had seen and responded to. When the two finally met, Meiwes first cut off Brandes’ penis and cooked it for the two of them to eat together. Only that wasn’t enough for the 42-year-old, who went on to kill Brandes, storing his meat in a specially designed freezer with a concealed bottom.
11. Stephen Griffiths murdered prostitutes with a crossbow
Stephen Griffiths, or the Crossbow Killer as he became known, killed three prostitutes in Bradford, northern England, in the early-2000s. Griffiths, who ironically was studying for a PhD in criminology at the local university, killed the three women with a crossbow and knives, eating at least parts of their bodies. He was only caught when a member of staff watching security cameras noticed a woman trying to escape from him. This was his final victim, Suzanne Blamires. The bodies of his other victims, Susan Rushworth and Shelley Armitage, were never found, and Griffiths was sentenced to life in prison.
10. Luka Magnotta Posted Videos Of Him Dismembering His Boyfriend
Canadian Luka Magnotta was found guilty of the murder of student Lin Jun in December 2014. He was sentenced to life in prison for the killing, along with other related crimes – desecration of the body, which included cannibalisation and even feeding parts of the victim to his dog, and even sending Jun Lin’s dismembered hands and feet to Canadian political parties and elementary schools. Magnotta even filmed the attack, which assisted in his prosecution, but also helped to increase his notoriety. The owner of a website was even charged with “corrupting public morals” for posting clips from the video online.
9. Rudy Eugene: Infamous Miami Cannibal Who Ate The Face Of His Victim
Rudy Eugene, the Miami Cannibal, is an anomaly on this list, as his victim actually managed to survive his horrendous attack – although the man did lose his sight in both eyes and suffered horrendous facial injuries. Eugene, who was apparently high on drugs, had accused a homeless man, Ronald Poppo, of stealing his bible, before launching a frenzied attack on the 65-year-old, biting off part of his face and eating it. Police had to shoot Eugene dead to stop the attack. There was something of a happy ending for Poppo, however, as he was eventually reunited with family members who thought he had committed suicide years previously.
8. Peter Bryan Admitted He Ate His Victim’s Brain with Butter
Peter Bryan killed three people between 1993 and 2004, believing that if he ate his victim’s bodies then he would become even more powerful. His first victim was the daughter of his employer, who he killed with a claw hammer. He was then sent to a psychiatric hospital, but by 2004, he convinced his doctors that he had recovered enough to allow him to be let out of secure accommodation. He then killed Brian Cherry, admitting to police that he had “eaten his brain with butter” before murdering his final victim, when he was actually incarcerated in Pentonville Prison.
7. Andrei Chikatilo savagely butchered over 50 people
By the time Andrei Chikatilo was eventually caught by the Ukrainian authorities in 1992, he had killed at least 56 young people. Unsurprisingly, he was sentenced to death for his terrible crimes, and was executed in 1994. Chikatilo was a teacher, although a series of assaults on pupils had forced him to keep moving from town to town, until he settled in the Russian town of Rostov – hence his nickname, the Butcher of Rostov. His first victim was Lena Zakotnova in 1978, and his final killing was Sveta Korostik in 1990, a few years before he was executed by firing squad.
6. Alfred Packer Cannibalized His Colleagues Out Of Self-Defense
Alfred Packer was among a group of six men who set off on a perilous journey from Utah to the Colorado Territory in November 1873. At some point during the voyage, the group got into difficulties, and only Packer survived to tell the tale, arriving in the town of Gunnison in April 1874. He confessed to cannibalising his colleagues in order to survive, although he insisted that he had only killed them in self-defence, when they attempted to attack him, and that he had not intended to eat them at all. Packer was sentenced to jail, until he was paroled by the governor of Colorado in 1901.
5. Issei Sagawa Killed Fellow Student While Studying In Paris
Issei Sagawa killed fellow student Renee Hartvelt in 1981, when the two were studying in Paris. Sagawa didn’t even try to deny that he was responsible – freely confessing that he killed Renee in order to eat her flesh. Under French law, however, this meant that Sagawa was insane, and he couldn’t stand trial. Instead, he was returned to his native Japan, where he spent a few years in a psychiatric hospital before checking himself out. The law had no power to compel him to stay and receive treatment. Sagawa has since become a minor celebrity and has even consulted for the police, like a real-life Hannibal Lecter.
4. Mauerova Family, Part Of Religious Cult, Targeted Their Own Children
The story of the Mauerova family from the Czech Republic is a particularly horrifying one. The family, led by the mother Klara, were members of a sinister religious cult, and Klara even targeted two of her own children, ten-year-old Jakob, and eight-year-old Ondrej. The two boys were kept locked in the cellar and were frequently abused. The family even stripped flesh from Ondrej, which was then eaten by Klara and others in the family. The horror was only discovered when a neighbour’s baby monitor accidentally picked up signals from the Mauerova’s own device, which was being used to watch the boys in their prison.
3. Jose Luis Calva Killed Three Victims And Stored Their Flesh In His Kitchen
Mexican Jose Luis Calva killed at least three women between 2004 and 2007, and admitted to eating parts of their flesh. In fact, when police finally arrested Calva at his home, they found body parts “stored” in his kitchen, apparently for later use. He killed his girlfriend Alejandra Galeana, an ex-lover, Veronica Martinez, and a prostitute who was known only as La Jarocha in Mexico City, by strangling them. Police believe that he may have been responsible for more killings. Unfortunately, Calva committed suicide in jail by hanging himself, taking all his secrets to the grave.
2. Joachim Georg Kroll Arrested While He Was Cooking One Of His Victims
Joachim Georg Kroll – also known as the Ruhr Hunter – was sentenced to nine life sentences in 1976, although police believe that he killed at least 13 people in Germany between 1955 and 1976. While most of his victims were women, he killed one man, and cannibalised their bodies, taking slices of meat from their stomachs and buttocks. He was actually in the process of cooking slices taken from his final victim, Marion Ketter, when police arrived to arrest him in 1976. Kroll eventually died in prison in 1991, at the age of 58.
1. Jeffrey Dahmer Is Probably The Most Infamous Of Them All
Jeffrey Dahmer is probably one of the most notorious cannibals of all time. Also known as the Milwaukee Cannibal, Dahmer raped and murdered 17 boys and young men between 1978 and 1991. He ate flesh and body parts belonging to many of his victims, and preserved and kept organs and appendages belonging to others in his home. When he was arrested, police found severed heads, hearts and even two penises in his home, as well as photographs of many of his victims, He was sentenced to sixteen life sentences, and was killed in prison in 1994, by a fellow inmate.
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